Hopkins County Commissioners Court will be busy March 22, with a regular court session and work session in the morning, and a town hall meeting to give community members a chance to ask questions and discuss with county and ENGIE officials the planned Dike solar project.
Among the items presented for court approval Monday morning are lease purchase financing for a 2019 Volvo Pneumatic Roller for Precinct 1, a county clean up days, funding for two generators through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, authorizing the county judge to sign documents pertaining to the grant, rescinding of an interlocal agreement between the county and hospital and an interlocal agreement with Ark-Tex Council of Governments.
At Monday’s March 8 meeting gave approval for Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker to purchase of a 2019 Volvo Pneumatic Roller for Precinct 1.
The roller will be purchased from Romco Equipment Company through Buyboard. The cost for the purchase will be $64,860. Because the equipment is being purchased through Buyboard, the county is not required to go out for bids for the project, County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook reported.
The request being made to the court March 22 is for financing of the pneumatic roller. Proposed at the March 8 meeting was a 5-year lease purchase agreement.
During a special work session held at the Economic Development Corp. offices March 17, the Commissioners Court discussed dates for a spring 2021 county clean up. The Commissioners will be asked to officially set those days. The Commissioners proposed Friday, April 23, 2021 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, April 24, from 8 a.m.to noon.
The Commissioners discussed the difficulty of unloading gooseneck calf trailers packed with items to be discarded and this year will be asking people to refrain from using those to cart items for disposal at their county precinct barn. Those planning to haul items should also be aware chemicals and toxic materials are not accepted.
The commissioners plan to have some staff available to assist people when they arrive, but noted those bringing larger items to discard should be prepared to help off load them.
Also, any metal items donated during the Spring clean up days will be scrapped, with funds received again designated to benefit county’s volunteer fire departments.
Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom at the March 17 work session also announced that Hopkins County has been approved for funding, awarded to the county due to a disaster designation, to obtain two generators, a 211 kw generator and a 100 kw generator with 18 quick connects. These can be used in county facilities as well as by water supply districts when the power goes out. They are part of a county generator maintenance program.
Commissioners also had to have information and photos turned in to Beth Wisenbaker by 5 p.m. so she could upload everything and prepare it for submission by the deadline this week to apply for funding for damages the county sustained during the storm, particularly to county roads.
Wisenbaker and the county emergency management coordinator also advised the commissioners to be sure to document any damages sustained in their precinct during the storm and high winds earlier in the week. Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price noted he’d received three calls Wednesday morning about trees downed in the storm. Barker reported 2-3 outbuildings, a barn and shed, had been damaged in Precinct 1. Anglin noted several trees down in one area of his Precinct.
The regular Commissioners Court meeting Monday is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the Commissioners Courtroom on the first floor of Hopkins County Courthouse.
A work session is scheduled to immediately follow Monday’s regular court session. Commissioners and the judge will move to the meeting room on the third floor of the courthouse. The court is scheduled to meet with representatives from the fire department, sheriff’s office and Civic Center to discuss any repairs or proposed improvements needed or recommended and to review revenues and expenditures for those facilities. The court too is slated to meet with the environmental inspector to discuss any environmental concerns. The court also can hold a budget work session during that time.
Dike Solar Town Hall
The Commissioners Court will also invite concerned community members to join them for a town hall meeting with an official from ENGIE, the French company that is now in charge of the planned solar facility in Dike, to discuss the 250 MW project is slated to span across more than 1870 acres.
Members of the Commissioners Court plan to Hopkins County Civic Center starting at 6 p.m. to answer questions directly from concerned residents regarding Hopkins Energy LLC. They will be having a virtual meeting with the ENGIE representative, with a large screen set up so those present can see, and ask questions.
Those who do not choose to be at the Civic Center who have internet can sign up and take part in the Zoom conference, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. March 22 by clicking on the following link to register to join the virtual meeting: Click Here.